Autumn. Finally. Thank you!
This is my favourite season to cook with – I love the berries, the pumpkins, the sweet chestnuts and the fact that everything smells like cinnamon (well, it does in my house anyway!).
The cold weather never has and never will put me off getting into the mountains. If anything, the cooler days and dewy mornings draw me in more (I can’t wait until the dew turns to frost!). My absolute favourite food to take walking on particularly cold days is soup! I load up my Stanley flask, buy a small loaf of sourdough bread from my local bakers (it is the best bread in the entire world), and that’s my lunch sorted!
So come October, as the weather starts to change and there’s a notable turn in temperature I have to keep my body fighting on top form (especially with Cystic Fibrosis I have to avoid getting colds and flus as much as I can). So I thought I’d share pre-winter immune boosting soup – it’s super easy to make, no faffy ingredients and is pretty cheap (which is why I end up eating it all the time!).
Prep and cooking time: about 20-30 minutes in total, depending on how well you can gut a squash!
What you will need:
- Two small-medium sized squashes (pumpkins, butternut squashes and butter cup squashes work best – but have a play!)
Side note – avoid the little green ones in soup – They can be quite bitter and astringent*
- 4 cloves of garlic
- about the same about of root ginger
- a can of coconut milk (I use the fatty stuff, but there is usually a reduced fat option too!)
- a dollop of coconut oil (it tastes the best, but normal cooking oil will work too)
- Salt, Pepper and Cinnamon to taste (I love loads of cinnamon!)
And that’s it; let’s cook!
So first off, you’re going to need to peel (I use a knife), gut and cube your squashes – this is the bit that takes a bit longer. Go slow and watch your fingers!
Once they’re all cut up, pop them in a pan half full of water (make sure the water covers the squash) and put them on the hob at a medium heat and leave to simmer (it should only take about 10 minutes).
As the squash is simmering, dice your garlic and ginger into tiny tiny chunks. Pop these into a frying pan with a dollop of coconut oil. Fry them on a low heat so they cook through without burning.
Once the squashes are cooked through (you can test this buy sticking a knife in one of the cubes – if it slides off the knife easily then it’s cooked. If it sticks on the end of the knife then it needs a couple more minutes) drain them and leave them to cool as you finish frying the garlic and ginger. *For the next part I use a Nutribullet, but any food processor or hand blender will work*
Once your squash has cooled a bit then place it in the nutribullet, along with the fried garlic and ginger, and the coconut milk (you may have to do that in a couple of batches depending on the size of your nutribullet/food processor).
Add the contents of the Nutribullet back into the pot, return to the hob on a low heat and stir in some salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste.
And that’s it; pretty simple really!
If you find any variations whilst your experimenting then let me know in the comments section!
P.s – let the soup sit over night to allow the flavours to develop, reheat in the morning and put the hot contents in to your flask before your walk; then find somewhere beautiful for your lunch spot and enjoy!